As a medical professional, you probably understand that every patient is unique. While some patients may find it convenient to receive an appointment reminder through text messages, others may prefer to receive a simple telephone call reminding them of their upcoming appointment.
Whichever method of contact your patients prefer, your office should strive to deliver it. Missed appointments cost the U.S. healthcare industry $150 billion every year. Having the ability to accommodate your patients’ preferred method of contact provides an extra layer of customer service that aids No-Show reduction. If you want to minimize the number of missed appointments at your medical practice, here are three things to consider.
Ask Your Patients What They Prefer:
In an age when most of us always keep a smartphone within reach, it’s important to have the capability to send digital reminders. If patients contacted your office through the Internet or booked their appointment online, then it’s safe to assume they would prefer to be contacted that way in the future. However, there’s one simple way to determine the best form of communication: ask patients what works best for them.
There’s No One-Size-Fits-All Appointment Reminder Solution:
Before making assumptions about a patient’s preferred contact method, it’s important to consider the practice and type of procedure they’ll be coming in for. Cardiology patients who require more information may prefer phone calls or emails, while on-the-go parents whose kids have pediatric appointments may prefer a more flexible approach like a text message. Better yet, innovative medical appointment reminder services can send messages via a number of different contact methods, including by phone, text, and email. For those patients who generally have pretty full schedules, offering and providing a combination of these contact methods is often most effective in getting patients to the office.
Make Sure the Message Matches the Medium:
It’s also critical to consider the type of information being conveyed. For example, if a patient has a more complex medical procedure as opposed to a simple check-up, a text appointment reminder may not be sufficient enough to communicate all of the necessary information. For upcoming medical procedures or surgeries that require patients to prepare in certain ways, reaching out to them via a variety of different methods is generally most effective. In-depth and specialized instructions are often too detailed to be sent through a 160-character text message, and in these cases, a combination of email and phone calls is often the better option.
The key to any successful patient appointment reminder strategy is to give your patients the freedom to decide how they’d like your office to contact them. Remember: the best medical appointment reminders don’t just cut back on missed appointments, they promote better understanding between you and your patients. For more information about automated appointment reminder services for the digital age, contact Callpointe. today.